Another Year of life with CF free lungs has come and gone. Today is my 4 year transpalantiversary and I am full of gratitude. I am thankful to everyone who played a part in saving my life. It took my family supporting me. It took my community donating, it took everyone who said a prayer for me. It took my husband Bryan loving me enough to do whatever we had to so we could find and get to a Hospital that would treat me. It took all the nurses and doctors from Portneuf Medical Center to keep me healthy all those years before my transplant. It took Paul my coordinator working extra hard to get me listed. It took a surgeon, Dr. McCurry to have the skills and experience to take on such a high risk surgery. It took Dr. Pilewski to see how badly I wanted and needed a second chance at life. It took my Donor who at some point in her life made the choice to be an Organ Donor. It took God to make it all come together.
I talked with Bryan last night. It's like pulling teeth with him to get him to talk about it much. I can only imagine how hard it is for him to relive the days before my transplant and the 13 hour wait while I was in surgery. He never includes much detail. He did tell me that when I was put on the ventilator I was not "peaceful" as I imagined I was. He said it was hard watching me because I would try to cough but couldn't with the vent, so my face would turn really red and I would jerk. . .then the respiratory therapist would have to come in and put a tube down the vent that would suck out the mucus that was clogging my airways. He said it was hard because I put on "Zombie Juice" so I didn't respond to anything he said or to his touch. I was that way for 3 days before he got the call.
My recovery was difficult. I have plenty of scars that are reminders of that. I went through more pain and suffering I ever thought I could endure. . .but that's the beauty of it, with God we can endure more than we ever could alone. I could not have survived without healing prayers, blessings, and angels sent from heaven to watch over me. Every day I am thankful for that.
My Donor. I didn't hear back from my donor family. I don't know much about her except that she was middle aged and petite. I also know that her and her family made the ultimate sacrifice and saved many lives. I know that her lungs are strong and they have given me 4 years of wonderful life. I know that one day I'll be able to thank her in person in heaven. That will be a reunion I am looking forward to someday. I know that as all my friends and family are congratulating me and celebrating with me that my donor's family is reminded that 4 years ago they lost their daughter, sister, aunt, wife and even maybe their mother. That is the hardest thing to deal with. Another family's suffering so that I could live. That is why I take care of her lungs. I take my meds, I exercise and I live life like the miracle and gift it is every day. I feel like the greatest thing you can do in life is save another life. Being an Organ Donor and saving up to 8 lives with the selfless act of giving your organs to those who need them when you are called home to be with God and no longer need your physical body, is the ultimate hero. That is my definition of HERO.
Today I celebrate 4 healthy years I have enjoyed and I also celebrate the heroic life of my donor.
*Also I want to say "Happy 3 Year Transplantiversary" today to Nancy! We both had Cepacia and we both got our transplant as UPMC in Pittsburgh exactly ONE year apart.
Save a Life...Be Someone's Hero...
Be An Organ Donor!
Favorite short of the day
2 weeks ago